A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“New York point guards will give up their grandmother before their dribble” (basketball adage) (10/31)
Mayor Pothole or Senator Pothole (responsive to constituent needs) (10/31)
“I could burn water” (i.e., I can’t cook) (10/31)
“When you think, you stink” (sports adage) (10/30)
“Real estate is a relationship business” (real estate adage) (10/30)
More new entries...

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Entry from April 11, 2006
Welfare Queen
A "welfare queen" is a woman who is on public assistance, often fraudulently. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cut the welfare rolls in the 1990s, dramatically decreasing the "welfare queens."

The term "welfare queen" -- like "yuppie" -- originated in Chicago with a real-life person named Linda Taylor.

1 September 1973, Washington Post, pg. D10:
Welfare Queen
(Horse name -- ed.)

12 October 1974, Chicago Tribune, "'Welfare queen' jailed in Tucson," pg. G3:
LINDA TAYLOR, the 47-year-old "welfare queen," was being held in a jail in Tucson, Ariz., Friday at the request of Chicago police in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

She is charged with grand larceny as a result of allegedly having bilked the Illinois Public Aid Department of an estimated $100,000 a year thru fraudulent welfare claims.

25 October 1974, Chicago Tribune, pg. A7:
"Welfare queen's" bond cut

15 February 1976, New York Times, pg. 51:
"Welfare Queen" Becomes
Issue in Reagan Campaign
The Washington Star
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 -- Few people realize it, but Linda Taylor, a 47-year-old Chcago welfare recipient, has become a major campaign issue in the New Hampshire Republican Presidential primary.

Former Gov. Ronald Reagan of California has referred to her at nearly every stop, using her as part of his "citizens' press conference" format.

"There's a woman in Chicago," the Republican candidate said recently to an audience in Gilford, N.H., during his free-swinging attack on welfare abuses. "She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veterans' benefits on four nonexisting deceased husbands."

Posted by Barry Popik
Workers/People • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 11, 2006 • Permalink